Yes, kids it was quite an evening on West 48th Street, last night. My photographer pal, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, and I were treated to ALL of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 girls in all their glory for a two-hour press preview and then a live show and a teaser of the premiere episode. They were posing, chatting, laughing and generally giving us EVERYTHING –and then some. (See this post for Ruben’s exclusive portraits.) Bianca Del Rio was hosting the night, but so as not to upstage (or frighten) the girls, she came in her “Lucy’s night off” drag. As, I passed her on the way to the bar later, I said walking,
“When are you going to get dressed, honey…?“
To which I got the full force of a Bianca comeback…
“When are you gonna GROW HAIR..?”
Ouch. It’s like getting insulted by Don Rickles or Joan Rivers (RIP) –more like both in one. (It’s shaved, btw.) I asked her if she knew these Season 8 girls….?
“Yes, the New York ones; Acid Betty, Bob the Drag Queen and that nut, Thorgy Thor…”
So, when I first caught a glimpse of Thorgy Thor last night, I did do a double-take. I thought for a second it was Sweetie, the NYC drag legend, but she was just paying homage. I told her what I thought and she laughed and said,
“YOU clocked it.“
Everyone was floored by her transformation, but it REALLY must have confused some of the reporters.Mrs. Kasha Davis was on hand to interview Bianca (that WAS funny) and ALL 12 girls for Logo (who was hosting) so she was BUSY. Milk showed up and posed with hottie Nick Tortorella and his Younger cast-mate Molly Bernard and pals. (Nick’s ears were blackened and his buddy had glitter eyebrows!) There was SO much happening it was hard to be everywhere…
You know, I write for The Wow Report on a daily basis, and I know the World of Wonder folks for years –I’m taking DECADES– but I don’t know beans about the goings on of Drag Race, ahead of the show. They tell me NOTHING! – which is good so I can say what I want, without fear of giving anything away. I’m like you –just along for the ride, giving my 2 cents, whether anybody asks or not.
Now, it’s a press event, so the girls are going to be killing it with fierce looks and one their BEST behavior for reporters, but I will say this, they were all super-nice, professional, funny and tons of fun. I got a chance to talk to all of them a little bit. A few seemed a bit nervous, but once Ruben got them aside to take pictures, they all turned it on for the camera. Sparkle Neely! I’m predicting that this is going to be a FUN ride this season, but again –what do I know…?
When it came time for the crowd downstairs to meet the girls they were all READY for it. Bianca DID change into a flowy, caftan, which seemed to be decorated with her own face (who else) and she gave the crowd lots of shit –natch, teasing them all night. At one point saying that once you’ve been ON the show, THEN you can talk about it with real authority and give advice…
“I hear from queens all the time, ‘I’ve watched every single season and episode of Drag Race, which makes me an EXPERT!’
No, honey. That makes you a VIEW-ER!‘”
Well, we know who’s opinion counts, now. MINE! No, YOURS! That’s the fun of the show, everyone gets to say what they want about ANYTHING they want. Just be careful what you say to Bianca!
The performances were all pretty incredible. A few stood out for me –and the crowd, by their reactions. Acid Betty was up first and got spray painted during her number. Bob the Drag Queen was lipsyncing to Patti LaBelle‘s Over the Rainbow in a black dress and when she reached the climax of the song, she twirled it into a floor-length rainbow chiffon gown… I thought the crowd was going to lose their damn minds! You never heard such screaming! One of the best onstage transformations I’ve ever seen. EVER.
Thorgy Thor closed the show, which was a transformation of sorts too, revealing her inner flashdance under all that earlier padding. Vegas’s Derrick Barry did a FLAWLESS Britney. I can already hear the other girls saying,
“Does she do anything else?!“
We’ll find out won’t we? The crowd was gagging for Kim Chi‘s chiffon night gown look and Robbie Turner is looking like this season’s Jinx Monsoon, if you want to play that game of who is like whom. Robbie came out in old lady waitress drag to which she peeled down to sequins and saggy boobies. Laila McQueen was the goth girl of the night, and when I say girl –I mean GURL, the BODY! Naomi Smalls is NOT small, she’s 12 feet tall, with legs for days. Cynthia Lee Fontaine is cute, sweet, bubbly and talented and had all the reporters eating out of her hand. Some of the numbers went on too long, but the crowd did NOT seem to mind at all. Bianca introduced a clip of RuPaul’s new show, Gay For Pay, with sarcasm and bitchiness, which we know comes from love… right? She hinted to me backstage that she is talking with World of Wonder about developing her own show…
“They’re finally doing a show RuPaul ISN’T in!“
Well, we’ll watch ANYTHING Mama Ru is in, you know and, duh –it’s a no-brainer –we’d all watch anything Bianca is in too.
We got a sneak peek of the premiere, which you may have heard is the 100th episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Timing! And Ru tells Derrick Barry that she is the 100th queen to walk though those doors. Timing! Well, they didn’t show us THAT much, but I will tell you the gaggy-est part. The first challenge is a photo shoot with Mathu Anderson with all 7 of the winners of RPDR (Plus All-Stars winner, Chad Michaels)! The new girls pose off with the Drag Race veterans and some sparks FLY! I’ll leave it at that. Can. Not. Wait. RuPaul’s Drag Race premieres on Monday, March 7 at 10PM, EST on Logo.
(Photos, Ruben Natal-San Miguel)